“It was a time when they loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other mortal trails, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
We are currently living a time of great pause. While many have been sounding the alarm for some time, as the glaciers continue to melt and the Earth began to burn, Mother Nature stepped in to force Her human family into a time-out to stop the bleeding and begin the healing. And with that, She encourages all of us to take a deep breath and together consciously turn towards a new and better way.
So grateful for the education I received. I am and will continue to be an avid student of language. Because I sought more opportunities to connect, as a Spanish major with an Italian concentration at Boston College, I had the opportunity to meet the great authors in different languages. And on my journey, I met one of the greatest of the 20th century, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his Magical Realism. Defined as an artistic genre in which realistic narrative is combined with surreal elements of dream, of course I got excited. Such a beautiful way to address the human condition in general and gain more wisdom through prophetic words.
In his novel, Love in the Time of Cholera, he addressed a common paradigm throughout literature (akin to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet) where those who claim to know better force apart two young people in love. Over time, the female protagonist abandons her young lover convinced their love was an illusion. Then, set in a time where cholera was the virus that needed to be eradicated, she chooses sensible over passion when she marries a doctor who as a rational man greatly values his own importance
Ultimately, her husband dies and she reunites with her young love once again. While some just see this as a sentimental story of the enduring power of love, Garcia Marquez looks at love as an emotional and physical plague for her young lover who suffers and longs for something that is out of reach. Garcia Marquez used the term cholera in his title as a pun. He questions whether love is hindered or helped by extremes in the human experience; cholera as a disease and cholera as extreme passion. I wonder how in our current time, how is love helped by shining a light on such extremes as well; corona as a disease and corona as a crown of light,
Now, read this quote again. Apply it to the present moment. Can this be a time where the human family comes together and loves each other best? Now, without hurry or excess? Perhaps only then can we as a world community come together and fulfill a prediction made from one of the great authors of a generation. Starting from a place where we become conscious and grateful for our victories over adversity. This will prove to be one of the most beautiful descriptions of the possibilities that can come from this present life experience when we know that the human condition will present many challenges, but our perspective at the end of the day will be from the other shore. Love in a time of corona.
And if you have time, pick up Garcia Marquez’s books or The Magical Guide to Bliss and open up your world to seeing through magical lenses as well.
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